Tag Archives: Hollywood

Mali-V500 – An ARM-Produced Chip For Combating Video Piracy

Mali-V500 – An ARM-Produced Chip For Combating Video PiracyARM Holdings is one of the leading companies when it comes to manufacturing processors for smartphones. One of their policies is to keep technology away from copyright infringement, and the Mali-V500 video chip does exactly that.

Two days ago, ARM made public (at Computex) the new series of products (see the list here), including the Mali-V500 – a video processor developed at the demand of Hollywood studios. The product is the first of its kind as it prevents HD videos from being pirated thanks to its embedded DRM structure.

While the movie studios have been reluctant to embrace mobile devices, the introduction of such a processor could eventually change their hearts.

“In order to protect their multi-billion dollar investments, studios and content owners are demanding hardware-backed security across all devices that play their premium content,” Cris Porthouse – Director of Market Development @ ARM – wrote in a blog post.

“This means that in order to support premium content mobile and other consumer embedded devices must support hardware-backed protection of content from download to display,” he continued.

He went on to assure Hollywood that the video processor is offering cutting-edge security, while being capable of supporting a wide range of DRM solutions.

“In order to meet the stringent security requirements of movie content owners, Mali-V500 has been architected to efficiently support ARM TrustZone and associated media playback use cases efficiently,” he said.

In a discussion with Financial Times, Cris pointed out that:

“Hollywood movie studios and major content distributors like Netflix and others are demanding for premium or early window content – their highest-value content – to be protected not just by digital rights management but by the hardware, all the way from download through to display.”

It’s yet unknown when the Mali-V500 is going to be implemented into smartphones, but if you’re interested about its features feel free to check out this link.

Warner Bros. & NBC Universal Ask Google To Remove Mega From Its Search Results

Warner Bros. & NBC Universal Ask Google To Remove Mega From Its Search ResultsThe two studios claim that Kim’s Mega is already hosting their copyrighted content, and needs to be removed from Google’s search results as soon as possible.

In response to their request, Kim said that:

“This is in line with the unreasonable content industry behavior we have experienced for years.”

After receiving no less than 20 million take-down requests last year, Google remains under huge pressure from the entertainment industries, as it’s continuously being urged to remove infringing URLs from its search results.

The sad part, however, is that plenty of these requests are bogus, like for example when HBO asked Google to remove HBO.com from its results. These “mistakes” occur mostly because of the high number of automated notices and because rightsholders fail to check the notices’ integrity.

As for Mega, NBC Universal claims in its take-down request that Kim’s new baby is linking to an unlicensed copy of its movie “Mama”. Warner Bros. had done the same (read their request here), but for “Gangster Squad”.

“The Warner Bros. and NBC Universal requests to Google are censoring our entire homepage. This is in line with the unreasonable content industry behavior we have experienced for years,” Dotcom told TF.

“You will recall the illegal takedown of the Megaupload song by Universal Music and the attempts to censor our Mega radio ads. The shutdown of the entire Megaupload site remains the ultimate illegal takedown by the content industry.”

Fortunately for the German entrepreneur, Google acknowledged the mistake (in this case) and kept Mega in its search index.

“During the Megaupload days over 20% of all takedown notices were bogus. We analysed big samples of notices and most were automated keyword based takedowns that affected a lot of legitimate files. The abuse of the takedown system is so severe that no service provider can rely on takedown notices for a fair repeat infringer policy,” Kim continued.

He went on to highlight that these faulty take-down requests had often had an extensive damaging effect on portals that linked to legal content.

“The constant abuse of takedown rules and the ignorance of DMCA obligations by the content industry are based on the confidence that the current U.S. administration is protecting this kind of behavior. The political contract prosecution of Megaupload is the best example,” Kim said.

“The White House doesn’t appreciate that the DMCA was the biggest contributor to a thriving Internet economy in the U.S.”

“From my experience the only people who are acting like criminal lunatics are the copyright extremists who think that the DMCA doesn’t matter. Their agenda is war against innovation. The kind that forces the content industry to adjust an outdated business model.”

“History repeats itself and Innovation always wins,” Kim concluded.

At the time being, Google is still showing Mega on its results. Will it stay that way?

Stay tuned to find out!

The Industry, The Govt and The Copyright Trolls

We come with yet another report from the EFF about how Hollywood studios created a new kind of “monster” – copyright trolls who force settlements from internet subscribers by making use of intimidation, aided by US’s faulty copyright laws.

Last Friday, EFF Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen took the witness stand in AF Holdings v. Does where he tried to explain to a federal judge why BitTorrent users should not be deprived by their constitutional rights when scoped by trolls. Taking into consideration the brutality on which copyright treaties are built, EFF asks a fair question:

“How will Hollywood help protect US citizens from copyright trolls?”

Meanwhile these trolls are suing groups of people from 20 to 5.000 alleged pirates in a single lawsuit with only a list of IP addresses. After obtaining the court’s permission, they send subpoenas to ISPs with the hope to obtain their users’ names and addresses. The next step is to send threatening letters, asking for settlements “or else”. Until now, over 200.000 U.S. residents have been involved in such lawsuits, many of which preferred to settle just to end the harassment. Although groups like the RIAA ended the lawsuit campaign back in 2008 after realizing the damage done to the industry’s image, this has meant nothing for copyright trolls.

Since 2008 they’ve continued to sue six times more people than the music groups ever did, applying aggressive methods of intimidation, and eventually cashing in millions from these settlements. At the core of the problem are U.S. copyright laws and legal precedents pushed through Congress and the courts by the entertainment industries and their lobbyists. Let’s take for example the statutory penalty for sharing only one copyrighted work (one track) that can reach up to $150.000. Therefore, it’s no wonder that people prefer to settle for several thousand dollars – even if they broke no law. According to the entertainment industries, it is imperative for these penalties to be as high as possible, thinking that this will discourage illegal downloading, but ignoring the fact that they are creating an abusive system that’s controlled exactly by these trolls.

EFF’s article continues on writing about the legal doctrine of “secondary liability”. Both the movie and recording industries are continuously pressing for broader liability for intermediaries, internet sites and services, and developers of tools and software. It is yet another loophole on which copyright trolls profit. They disregard actual copyright infringers and focus on the owners of internet accounts. As such, even if someone understands secondary liability and can afford a lawyer, he or she still prefers to settle and not risk a long expensive trial, regardless of the fact that one could win.

Furthermore, plaintiffs in such suits usually mix together internet users from around the country and obtain their identities from ISPs based on a court order.

“Doing this requires trampling on jurisdiction rules that keep people from being unfairly forced to defend themselves far from home, joinder rules that guarantee every defendant is treated as an individual, and the First Amendment, which gives us a right to communicate anonymously,” explains EFF’s article.

Last but not least, the entertainment industries have spent millions of lobbying and advertising dollars during the decades to promote the buggy idea that if copyright law promotes creativity, then even more aggressive copyright legislations will promote harder.

“According to this philosophy, the importance of preventing even the most inconsequential copyright infringement justifies chilling free speech, unmasking anonymous Internet users, wholesale regulation of the Internet … and setting loose the trolls,” Mitch Stoltz explains.

This view was on full display last week at a hearing in the D.C. federal district court, when ISPs – aided by the EFF – tried to destroy subpoenas for internet users’ identities.

One thing is clear, however – there will always be people who are willing to use the legal system as part of a shakedown, but copyright trolls, if not stopped by Hollywood, will always lurk around, sniffing money out of the pockets of innocent people.

Wikipedia’s Founder Foresees Hollywood’s Downfall

Jimmy Wales – the American entrepreneur and co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia – delivered his message to Hollywood’s studios: “You’re doomed, it won’t be piracy that kills you, and nobody will care,” he said.

Wikipedia’s founder, speaking at the Internet Society’s INET convention in Geneva, predicted that Hollywood will most likely share the fate of Encyclopedia Britannica which shut down its print operation this year after selling only 3,000 copies in 2010.

“Hollywood will be destroyed and no one will notice,” Wales said.

But it won’t be Wikipedia or Encarta that will put an end to the moviemaking industry:

”Collaborative storytelling and filmmaking will do to Hollywood what Wikipedia did to Encyclopedia Britannica,” he said.

Underlining the rapid development of technology, the video and mastering editing software era that entered our lives, gaining huge success – especially in our youngest sectors of society, he brought up the fact that his own 12-year-old daughter is already adept at iMovie and won a local award for a short movie she made.

And just as Wikipedia proved that collaboration on the web is possible, the coming generation will find ways of entertaining themselves by collaborating online to create movies; and their movies will include impressive special effects, CGI, and even remote actors, Whales believes.

Although Hollywood’s studios may not take these predictions seriously, and even if they may sound a bit “futuristic”, you can never know. If that’s the case, Hollywood won’t even see the punch coming. It would be beautiful.

(via Wired)

BitTorrent and Paramount Pictures Collaborate on Movie Release

The exposure that BitTorrent can offer is starting to be appealing and seen in its true value. Record and movie companies have been making parades of futile resistance to the technological progress, digital revolution and its impact on the way almost everything can be distributed and reach consumers. However, it’s never too late to awaken at a smarter approach as this new, unexpected partnership is set to demonstrate between Hollywood colossus Paramount Pictures and BitTorrent.

The Tunnel, a horror film that already has lit up the imagination and anticipation of many internet users, will debut in a non-traditional way – the movie will premiere online with BitTorrent on May 19th and simultaneously Paramount Pictures will release it on physical DVD.

Transmission Films and Paramount Home Entertainment Australia, who collaborate on film acquisitions, have confirmed the release plan.

“Our experience with Paramount has been positive, and we’re impressed with how forward-thinking they’ve been on considering our specific project,” producer and editor Enzo Tedeschi told TorrentFreak.

“From day one we’ve maintained that The Tunnel is not supporting or condoning piracy, but instead trying to incorporate a legitimate use of peer-to-peer in our distribution strategy internationally.”

TorrentFreak also got a statement from co-producer Julian Harvey who said: “So much of the debate at the moment is caught up around what has been happening in the past, but that’s not what The Tunnel is about. We’re trying to look ahead. We have a film and we’re trying to find an audience.”

The DVD release will contain two hours of exclusive footage among which an alternate ending and a behind the scenes documentary.

“Our experience with Paramount has been positive, and we’re impressed with how forward-thinking they’ve been on considering our specific project,” Enzo added.

“From day one we’ve maintained that The Tunnel is not supporting or condoning piracy, but instead trying to incorporate a legitimate use of peer-to-peer in our distribution strategy internationally.”

Maybe Hollywood is starting to wise up. This partnership is a premiere itself anyway.

Don’t miss the (free) premiere in front of your computer! Here’s a little teaser for you all:

From the movie’s official website:

We believe that if we stop fighting the peer to peer networks, they could become the biggest revolution we have ever seen in the way we share entertainment and information.

After spending years being frustrated by what we saw as the movie industry’s short-sighted and conventional outlook towards the online community, we decided it was time to try something different – The 135K Project was born.

We figured that movie posters and collectable frames from movies are being sold every day, so what if we could raise the money to make “The Tunnel” by selling every individual frame of it? We would be able to make a movie unencumbered by a studio’s need for box office. We could do what we got into the industry to do in the first place. Tell stories we like and get them out there so people could enjoy them.

What’s the key to doing that? You.

If you like the look of “The Tunnel” or the idea behind The 135K Project – buy a frame or two, blog about it, follow us on twitter, seed and embed the finished film when it’s released. Whatever you can do. It will all help and show the world there might just be another way. Who knows where that might lead?